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Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the good-news-for-master-splinter dept.

Medicine 207

sciencehabit writes: A single dose of a century-old drug has eliminated autism symptoms in adult mice with an experimental form of the disorder. Originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, the compound, called suramin, quells a heightened stress response in neurons that researchers believe may underlie some traits of autism. The finding raises the hope that some hallmarks of the disorder may not be permanent, but could be correctable even in adulthood.

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207 comments

Well, so much for slashdot (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47256653)

Any idea what will be at this domain when its entire userbase is cured?

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47256695)

Why, the insightful and informative discussions of topical issues we used to have, grounded in solid science and without bias.

LOL, ok, I can't even type that without laughing.

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (2)

bricko (1052210) | about a month ago | (#47257045)

Jenny McCarthy will be devasted

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (1)

drakaan (688386) | about a month ago | (#47257231)

I was unaware that she was vast...let alone trying not to be.

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47256983)

This supposedly treats symptoms of autism, not internet diagnosis of autism that often include behaviors that have nothing to do with autism.

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a month ago | (#47257429)

internet diagnoses of autism that often include...

FTFY.

behaviors that have nothing to do with autism.

Such as tedious pedantry (see above).

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | about a month ago | (#47256995)

This treatment is a huge step forward. Finally- mice that can recognize sarcasm.

Re:Well, so much for slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257623)

A store front selling genuine century old bottles of medicine.

Why reverse? Increase!! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256675)

I like to increase symptoms of autism using Adderall.

Whether I'm lashing out at my peers, or mumbling and shaking uncontrollably, Adderall is my go-to drug for augmenting autism!

It's no wonder so many parents shove this medication down their throats!

When it comes to Autism, I like to turn it up to 11 and RIP THE NOB OFF!

Re:Why reverse? Increase!! (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47256705)

Well, I think we all agree that enforcing "normality" is both stupid and impossible, because two people can pass each heading opposite directions looking for "normal".

Re:Why reverse? Increase!! (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a month ago | (#47256915)

No, we can't treat with a goal of normality, but we can shoot for the goal of maximising happiness and increasing people's ability to not only function, but to excel in whatever environment they're in.

Re:Why reverse? Increase!! (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47257131)

And with some sort of perfect foresight, that'd be sensible. I'm not sure how possible it is.

Re:Why reverse? Increase!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257257)

It all starts making sense when you realise that "normal" really means "able to work in a factory and/or take orders from a hierarchy in an optimal fashion". That pretty much excludes the human desire of "maximising happiness and increasing people's ability to not only function, but to excel in whatever environment they're in".

Re: Why reverse? Increase!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256907)

That's not what autism is, quit being an ignorant ass.

it's spelled 'knob'. (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a month ago | (#47256961)

n/t

Can a company patent it? (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47256683)

Gaining a drug's approval by the Food and Drug Administration in the US — and similar government agencies in other countries — is a very expensive process. The expense is normally offset for by the patent(s) granted to the pharmaceutical company, that developed the drug, which make it an exclusive maker/seller of the medicine for decades.

However, if the drug is long-known — and only needs an approval for new application — who will undertake to pay for the approval, if there is no way to patent it and the approval will allow all drug-makers (both domestic and foreign) to put their own versions on the market?

Re:Can a company patent it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256725)

How much did it cost Monsanto to get approval for ritalin?

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47256819)

How much did it cost Monsanto to get approval for ritalin?

No idea about this particular case. But an average cost of approval of a new drug is over $150 million [fastcompany.com] . According to the same page, that increases the development cost of an average new drug by about 50%.

Re:Can a company patent it? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a month ago | (#47257281)

Given that they could easily over-market this drug to helicopter parents, I imagine the large pharma companies wouldn't hesitate at spending that for the approval.

Re:Can a company patent it? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47256855)

I'm not sure why an agriculture company would get a patent on a psychiatric medication. I get that Monsanto and Big Pharma are both "bad guys", but the patent(now expired) on Ritalin was granted to Novarta, a swiss pharmaceutical company, and most of their current work revolves around vaccines.

This is all information turned up in a few seconds of basic research(yay internet era). The point is that you shouldn't go crazy with every single thing being one big conspiracy.

Re:Can a company patent it? (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47256885)

Wow you must have a thing against Monsanto [wikipedia.org] . They are an agribusiness and not a pharmaceutical company. Ritaline [wikipedia.org] was invented by CIBA, now Novartis Corporation [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Can a company patent it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257357)

So you go to the length of referencing the Wikipedia article and yet you still can't even spell Ritalin correctly?

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47256777)

It shouldn't be patentable, but our patent system is a huge disaster. However, assuming this shows legitimate promise, one of those autism related charities should be able to front the bill.

Re:Can a company patent it? (2)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47256879)

one of those autism related charities should be able to front the bill.

Are there autism-related charities capable of putting forth the $150 million [fastcompany.com] typically required to pay for FDA's approval?

And even if there are, I suspect, some of them might not want to to do that — under some legitimate-sounding reason — because it might eliminate their very reason for existing... Just as I would not trust "anti-poverty" politicians to do anything to really eliminate it — thus ending their political careers...

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47256959)

Ignoring the money raised through walks and such, Autism Speaks noted that a bill with $230 million for autism research was passed a few years back, and Big Pharma would probably consider funding it worthwhile just to shut Jenny Mccarthy up, plus the great PR this would have.

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47257083)

Autism Speaks noted that a bill with $230 million for autism research was passed a few years back

The bulk — if not all — of that is already committed, no doubt.

Big Pharma would probably consider funding it worthwhile just to shut Jenny Mccarthy up, plus the great PR this would have.

That may be...

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257157)

The bulk — if not all — of that is already committed, no doubt

It probably is, but bills like that are pretty common. Given the number of people on the Autistic spectrum, it's not going to be hard to get that amount of money if this drug shows promise. NIH and similar sources drop about half the money already, and about half of the drugs are low priority me too drugs. So, all we need is an impassioned plea form the wife of a Senator with an autistic child and the grant for this can be fast-tracked.

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a month ago | (#47257291)

Does big pharma hate Jenny McCarthy?

She's giving them more customers...

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257467)

Anyone in their right mind hates Jenny McCarthy for convincing parents to skip vaccinations over [scary voice] Autism and toxins [/scary voice]. (Botox is perfectly fine, though.)

Since I have a child with Autism (Asperger's Syndrome so he's very high functioning), I double-hate her not only for her insinuation that a child is better off dead than Autistic, but for her claims of curing her son's Autism with a Gluten free diet (or whatever other nonsense she's advocating right now). Either her son didn't have Autism at all or he still has Autism but his symptoms were reduced so he could function better in neurotypical society. You don't "cure" Autism.

Yes, I realize what article I'm posting this under. Note that they said it reduces symptoms, not cures. Individuals with severe autism are so hampered that they can't communicate. Imagine not being able to communicate your fears, frustrations, desires, etc to anybody... ever. This drug might offer a path to reduce their symptoms to the point that they could communicate and possibly function in neurotypical society. It's not an Autism cure.

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a month ago | (#47257573)

Anyone in their right mind hates Jenny McCarthy for convincing parents to skip vaccinations

Unless you're selling alternative treatments to the sicknesses those vaccinations cause.

Re:Can a company patent it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256829)

Regulatory approvals are expensive, but actual drug R&D is even moreso expensive; patents are not there to justify the cost of regulation so much as the cost of R&D. It is cheaper to certify an old, unpatentable drug and sell it as a generic than to develop a wholly new one. Even then, they still could probably get a patent on the drug by changing some less important part of the chemical structure, ala what they did with Nexium. Prilosec's patent about to expire? Just filter out half the chiral mirrors, falsify some studies, and bam - you have a "new" drug with "benefits" over the public domain drug.

Re:Can a company patent it? (2)

larwe (858929) | about a month ago | (#47256843)

Off-label use of a drug currently approved for a given clinical use is very easy to achieve. However, looking at the side effects of this pharmafossil, it's looking like the side effects are worse than the condition it is being proposed to treat. I can't see an adult consenting to take it. Parents could force their children to be dosed with it, I guess.

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a month ago | (#47257139)

Risking a 50% chance of toasted adrenals is a bit much to ask to treat a non-life-threatening condition.

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

Thagg (9904) | about a month ago | (#47256873)

Yes, one can often patent a drug for a new purpose. You probably can't charge $1,000/dose for a repurposing, but it can be done.

The absolutely shocking prevalence of autism today (currently estimated at 1 in 68 births, probably 1 in 40 boys) will make any drug that has a good effect profitable.

As the parent of an autistic teenager, I'm hoping for the best. It does appear that, like Tolstoy said, all autistic kids are autistic in their own way; so I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Some, though...

Re:Can a company patent it? (2, Interesting)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a month ago | (#47257141)

The drug is still in use, and there is nothing preventing a doctor from prescribing it for an off label use.

Re:Can a company patent it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257219)

As a parent of an autistic child - if it works, hell, I'll pay for it. Kickstarter it!

Re:Can a company patent it? (1)

larwe (858929) | about a month ago | (#47257519)

And if it causes fearsome rashes and a 50/50 shot of adrenal destruction, would you still feel the same way?

Good news for Mice. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a month ago | (#47256697)

How about people?

Re:Good news for Mice. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a month ago | (#47256751)

I'm thinking we'll find that out really soon, as desperate parents buy the drug on the black market, and try it out on their kids.

Re:Good news for Mice. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a month ago | (#47256941)

No need to go for the black market, it's already widely available.

Re:Good news for Mice. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257167)

More of a gray market, although I don't think it's available without a prescription, and it's a bit hard to fake parasites (two of the primary uses of this drug)

Re:Good news for Mice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257705)

More of a gray market, although I don't think it's available without a prescription, and it's a bit hard to fake parasites (two of the primary uses of this drug)

It might be somewhat hard to fake parasites but I'm sure mail ordering them or taking a trip overseas
would both be an option.

Re:Good news for Mice. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a month ago | (#47257223)

I find it funny with the vaccine nonsense, and your comment. It makes it seem that having autism is worse then death. Now there are many degrees of autism (Hence why it is the autism spectrum)

Most people with Autism will fall on the more mild areas, chances are with some different education the child will grow up to become a productive member of society. Even people with extreme cases are not completely out of it.

Re:Good news for Mice. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257505)

I'm the parent of a child with Autism (albeit High Functioning Autism/Asperger's Syndrome) and know plenty of parents of children with more severe Autism. None of us would rather our children be dead (of vaccine preventable illness or anything else) than have Autism.

Re:Good news for Mice. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47257065)

Good news for them too, autistic mice can really be a pest.

Godsend (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47256729)

As someone with Aspergers Syndrome this would be a godsend for me. There are many times where my adrenaline level is far above what is needed for the situation. It is extremely frustrating when most of my body is in full fight/flight response and there is a small voice in the back of my head saying "chill out dude, it's not that important". The problem is that the adrenal response usually overrides the cognitive response and bad things happen.

I just hope it does not impact the good things about autism such as the heightened ability to find and keep track of details.

Re:Godsend (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256875)

You clearly didn't read the article. It's a heightened stress response on a cellular level to cellular stresses. Not your stress when dealing with a social situation.

And not be an ass, but I'm going to be an ass; you probably don't have Asperger's Syndrome. If you diagnosed yourself, you definitely don't have Asperger's Syndrome.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256955)

They didn't indicate where their diagnosis came from, so you have no basis upon which to make that judgement.

Re:Godsend (1)

jythie (914043) | about a month ago | (#47256971)

I fail to see where the poster indicated they were self diagnosed.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257067)

Well, 'Asperger's' doesn't exist anymore. DSM and all.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257177)

It was re-labeled under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder. That doesn't mean it retroactively never existed or "doesn't exist anymore", and the term is still under common usage within and without the autism community.

Re:Godsend (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257463)

Furthermore, not everyone in the world considers the latest version of the DSM to be the ultimate authority on the subject.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257213)

I fail to see where the poster indicated they were self diagnosed.

They didn't but the vast, vast majority of the time anyone who is claiming Asperger's with a link to social anxiety is self diagnosed, and wrongly so.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257391)

>I fail to see where the poster indicated they were self diagnosed.

"If you are self aware enough to think that you have Asperger's Syndrome, then you don't."

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257501)

Nice way to lock out an entire population of people from self-advocacy and standing up for their own rights.

Re:Godsend (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257577)

No, Asperger's is a diagnosis for high functioning individuals, so having Asperger's would not prevent you from saying you have Asperger's. The reason that claiming to have Asperger's can be an indicator against having Asperger's is that someone with Asperger's has probably been ostracized enough that they don't always treat it like a badge of honor.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257741)

>I fail to see where the poster indicated they were self diagnosed.

"If you are self aware enough to think that you have Asperger's Syndrome, then you don't."

Don't confuse autism with aspergers. Asperger's is by definition "high-functioning". So yes, there are plenty
of people with Aspergers that know they have it. Likewise there are plenty of low functioning autistic and
down syndrom people who also are self aware enough to understand their disorder.

Re:Godsend (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month ago | (#47257047)

And not be an ass, but I'm going to be an ass

Good call.

Re:Godsend (3, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47257095)

It's a heightened stress response on a cellular level to cellular stresses.

I am hoping that the reduction in cell stress response will have a similar reduction in adrenal stress response.

If you diagnosed yourself, you definitely don't have Asperger's Syndrome.

I was diagnosed by a psychologist and expert in Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. I actually get a tax deduction due to it.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257491)

I'm curious to know more about the tax deduction. I got a diagnosis, which I've thus far elected to ignore, but ... really, a tax deduction? I'd genuinely like to hear more about that.

Re:Godsend (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257605)

If you don't mind me asking, how much did a diagnosis cost?

My son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism a couple of years ago. As we were doing research about it, I realized all these books were talking about me also. I've always known I was "different", just not exactly how. (I always thought of it like everyone else got the How To Socialize Manual and someone forgot to give me my copy.) I'm relatively comfortable with the "self-diagnosed but very likely Aspie" label mainly because money is tight and spending cash to get myself diagnosed when it won't help me (I already have my coping mechanisms in place) and won't help my son doesn't seem fiscally wise. If it didn't cost much, though, I might consider it just so I could definitely say Asperger's without having to preface it with "no official diagnosis."

Re:Godsend (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257685)

You get a tax deduction? So the normals amongst us are subsidizing your disease?

Re: Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257555)

If on the other hand you got a diagnosis from a non-autism psych in the 1980's of "it seems like mild autism but he's not retarded so he doesn't need to go to an autism specialist", you probably do have ASD severity 1 with no cognitive disability ( Aspergers)

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257721)

Do I need to point out that when he finds himself in these situations it's because of heightened cellular stress? The adrenaline and all that-- his neurons are excited in an abnormal way. Or did you think he misinterpreted "stress" as a cognitive state?

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257217)

Have you tried beta blockers? I was on a beta blocker for a while and I had no adrenaline response. It only takes a small dose.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257401)

As someone with Aspergers Syndrome this would be a godsend for me. There are many times where my adrenaline level is far above what is needed for the situation. It is extremely frustrating when most of my body is in full fight/flight response and there is a small voice in the back of my head saying "chill out dude, it's not that important". The problem is that the adrenal response usually overrides the cognitive response and bad things happen.

You know what we called people like you (or me)? Nervous.

"Aspergers Syndrome" diagnosis is clearly out of control when someone with some nervousness or anxiety is suddenly a "syndrome". And guess what - being nervous is *normal*. That's why you keep track of details, because you are nervous about failing. You remove the fear, you remove your "abilities" too.

Read up "My Age of Anxiety" by Stossel..

Anxiety and phobias has been with humanity for centuries. They have nothing to do with Autism.

Re:Godsend (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257625)

Autism has also probably been with us for a very long time too, and if it's actually present in mice, it would have been with us MUCH longer than centuries.

Re:Godsend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257667)

Autism is very rarely the only thing someone on the spectrum has. Anxiety, avoidancy, depression, and various other disorders are often co-morbid. This is nothing more than privileged denialism.

Re:Godsend (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47257761)

Sorry but you theories do not match my experience.

"Aspergers Syndrome" diagnosis is clearly out of control when someone with some nervousness or anxiety is suddenly a "syndrome".

You also clearly do not understand the difference between a behaviour and a disorder. A disorder is a behaviour that gets in the way of doing things you want to do. Nervousness is a behaviour. Nervousness to the point that one can not carry on a conversation is a disability. You also have no idea what I experience. A barely controllable rage response in the face of a minor confrontation is far from "some nervousness or anxiety".

You remove the fear, you remove your "abilities" too.

I disagree. I use many of my "different" talents when I feel no anxiety at all. In fact, my ability to find and follow detail works best when I am calm.

They have nothing to do with Autism.

Anxiety is one small part of Autism and may or may not be present in all people on the Autism spectrum. There are may other symptoms and behaviours that make up the diagnosis.

Re:Godsend (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257539)

There are days when I'm thankful that I'm an Aspie - like when my (neurotypical) wife is fretting over some body language that other people exhibited that I was completely blind to - and days when I'm not. In the case of the latter, when my Aspie fixations clash with my son's Aspie fixations, it can get quite stressful in our house. We feed off each other not doing what we're fixated on doing and everything quickly spirals out of control with my wife caught in the middle.

Of course, like you said, I wouldn't want to give up the good parts just to be rid of the bad parts.

As someone with autism, (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a month ago | (#47256761)

provided it works on people (which is a big if, given that mice can't be autistic; they can only either exhibit behavior that when displayed in a human would be considered autistic, or otherwise have brain structures similar to those of people with autism. Also keep in mind that neural correlates of anything, though, are still rather tricky in contemporary neuroscience), I would take it if it alleviated the symptoms I experience negatively. If it would reduce the stress and anxiety I experience simply being around people or in about fifteen other situations, I would take it in a heartbeat. If it stopped me from enjoying the things I enjoy to the extent that I enjoy them, I would never take it. But maybe that's obvious.

If it let me correctly interpret what other people are thinking I would also take it.

Re:As someone with autism, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256861)

My son has this diagnosis as well. I, myself, have a subset of the symptoms. I feel for you, and I know how lonely your life can be. It isn't fair.

Re:As someone with autism, (1)

Prune (557140) | about a month ago | (#47257697)

That still doesn't make it fair to us normals that you can get tax deductions in the US for carrying this diagnosis.

Re:As someone with autism, (3, Informative)

radtea (464814) | about a month ago | (#47257587)

From TFA: "Second, suramin is a poor drug choice for chronic use because of potentially toxic side effects that can occur with prolonged treatment."

And from the Wikipedia page on the drug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suramin#Adverse_reactions):

The most frequent adverse reactions are nausea and vomiting. About 90% of patients will get an urticarial rash that disappears in a few days without needing to stop treatment. There is a greater than 50% chance of adrenal cortical damage, but only a smaller proportion will require lifelong corticosteroid replacement. It is common for patients to get a tingling or crawling sensation of the skin with suramin. Suramin will cause clouding of the urine which is harmless: patients should be warned of this to avoid them becoming alarmed.

Kidney damage and exfoliative dermatitis occur less commonly.

Suramin has been applied clinically to HIV/AIDS patients resulting in a significant number of fatal occurrences and as a result the application of this molecule was abandoned for this condition.

So while this is an important piece of work that identifies purine metabolism as a critical set of pathways related to ASD, it should be viewed primarily as a starting point for a more precisely targeted drug that will have the same effect on the pathways that matter without also messing up the ones that cause the side-effects.

Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (0, Troll)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47256869)

.... autism represents something that is somehow "wrong"?

Okay, it's not neurotypical... but so fucking what?

Can people just not fucking embrace the fact that every individual is unique and special, and stop trying to hunt for ways make every child born today into a carbon-copy of some theoretical "normal", when in actuality, that doesn't even exist in the first place?

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256931)

Probably from people who need lifelong care to cope with their condition.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (2)

jythie (914043) | about a month ago | (#47257005)

There is a lot of grey area in between that has many ASD people worried. When the public face of autism awareness is often groups like Autism Speaks (which does not actually have any autistic leaders) that mostly exist to frighten parents into helping eradicate autism, non neurotypicals are not entirely out of line for worrying that if such treatments become possible people like them (many of whom are fully functioning members of society) might no longer exist due to parents not wanting their children to have this 'horrible life destroying condition'.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257659)

As the parent of a child with Autism, I always hate when I'm ready to buy something because it supports an Autism Charity, only to find out that one of the charity's platforms is "exposing the truth behind vaccines causing Autism."

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256985)

When I have a teenaged nephew who can't form coherent sentences on a regular basis let alone ever live an independent life? Yeah, I think I get to represent his condition as something being wrong.
 
That's fine if you have this condition (or whatever you'd like to call it) and you're OK with the quality of your life but don't be making that decision for others. I have a bad hip, do you think it would be "wrong" of me to condemn anyone else who has a bad hip who's ready to seek medical treatment to make their life's situation easier for them? Or how about someone with Parkinson's? What about someone who is Bipolar? Where do you get off making the decision for others as to when their life works for them?
 
How about you stop trying to hunt for ways to make people who want to alter their life's condition via the use of medications seem like they're wrong for not embracing what makes them "unique and special"?

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47257161)

Where does anyone else get off saying that there must be something "wrong" with me because I have autism?

You suggest that I shouldn't be making the decision for others... indeed, but bear in mind... neither should anyone else.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257249)

AGAIN, "When I have a teenaged nephew who can't form coherent sentences on a regular basis let alone ever live an independent life? Yeah, I think I get to represent his condition as something being wrong."
 
You want to make an exception with what I said? Fine. But do it using the words I said and try to make it not seem like I didn't address the question at hand. If you can't debate on a reasonable level then STFU and take a hike.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a month ago | (#47257377)

If you teenage nephew had no symptoms of autism but had the same IQ and generally the same mental capacity, how much would his quality of life really change? Autism often has company, especially in the most visible cases, and if you the symptoms that lower his QoL are the ones that are not Autism, making him no longer autistic is not going to solve the problem.

Also, you seem to be more of the one pushing your agenda. He's not asking you to join his club, or to stop people from leaving his club, but rather, to leave it to the individual whether they are comfortable with being autistic. You make comparisons to Parkinson's and Bipolar, but others might compare it to being left-handed or homosexual. There are certainly QoL issues there as well, but the healthy among us tend to see the difficulties they face as being primarily issues of how our society is structured instead of an underlying inferiority.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47257091)

It's one thing to be "unique".

It's a completely different one to be SO "unique" that others shun you for being "weird", with you not even knowing WHY you are. And that you only get "weirder" if you try to mimic them to blend in somehow.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47257353)

When did I suggest that it wasn't a good idea to have autism diagnosed? I most sincerely endorse diagnosis of it at the earliest possible opportunity, because knowing that much can change the entire world. I lived with undiagnosed autism for 30 years, and I can only guess at just how different my life could have been if it had been diagnosed when I was a child. According to nearly every adult that ever spoke with me, I was supposedly far above average in intelligence, but I dealt with no small amount of ostracization when I was a kid, which started with being called "stupid", and only got worse as I got older. To be perfectly honest, there were a lot of times while I was growing up, that I really wished I were more "normal"... but as an adult now, looking back on who I've become today, through it all... I wonder if I really had always just been like everybody else, if I would have been just as uncompassionate towards people who might be different from me as those who ridiculed me when I was growing up? If I had known when I was a child, at least I would have had an unshakable reason to understand why I was being seen as different.

Regardless.... autism is part of what makes me the person I am today.... and I honestly don't think that there's any part of it that really ever needed to be "cured", nor do I think we should be looking for one for others.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47257699)

To be blunt, a good portion of my team is probably to some degree "un-normal". At the very least they have severe shortcomings in the empathy department. And, believe it or not, I consider this an awesome trait.

First, there is very, very little that could possibly break their cool. As long as you keep them from experiencing sensory overload, but that's a different matter. They are, though, absolutely immune to the "I am important" spiel. And that is crucial. I need people who do not cave in just because someone waves an important title in front of their nose. It is comforting to know that their response to "But I am the CEO!" is "Oh good, then it should be easy for you to kick off the policy change that allows you to do that".

These people don't play the corporate game. They don't know how to play it and I'm GLAD that I have them. They follow the rules. TO THE LETTER. Because they know no other way to deal with them, they can't judge when to fudge, when to break and when to follow them. And I am in the fortunate situation that security is paramount here and that this allows me to protect them from self-absorbed board asshats.

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (3, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47257195)

I have Asperger's Syndrome and "normal" is not my goal. In fact, if I was neurotypical I would not be as skilled a programmer. I would like to control the situations where the Asperger's gets in the way of doing something I want to do. Too many time by body has been in full fight/flight and a small voice in my mind has said "Chill out dude. It not that important". The fight response has lost me a few jobs. Controlling the extremes is far from being "normal".

Re:Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47257651)

Not sure why you were modded as Troll. I agree with you with one caveat. The article mentions that this isn't a cure but can alleviate some symptoms. If it helps those on the far end of the Autism spectrum to function in society, then I can see it being useful. If someone wants to take it so they can not feel uneasy looking in people's eyes, though, they should just get some help developing a coping mechanism. (I look at people's noses or right behind their head. This way, it looks like I'm looking in their eyes without having to do so.)

Where the fuck did people get the idea that.... (1)

Prune (557140) | about a month ago | (#47257737)

Funny enough the supporters of "deaf culture" made the same noise as cochlear implants became more common. And the same thing will happen to the "autism rights" imbeciles that is now happening to the "deaf culture" ones--slow but sure annihilation. Good riddance, I say.

Big problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256889)

There is a greater than 50% chance of adrenal cortical damage, but only a smaller proportion will require lifelong corticosteroid replacement.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suramin

Re: Big problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256987)

What if adrenal cortex damage is the mechanism of action and not a side effect? Overactive HPA axis does contribute to autism symptoms...

Drug company CEOs are furious now. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month ago | (#47256901)

How did this happen? Which idiot directly tested a century old drug without making a cosmetic change, or at least a name change to make it patentable? Guys like this never think of broader implications of their work. Narrowly focused on useless things like welfare of the people or some such thing. Must have contracted a very severe case of anthropophilia. They should have thought about how it would impact the boni of pharma executives and they should be constantly asking themselves how we could make this year bonus bigger than last years for every executive. That is how we progress.

Ask not what big pharama can do for you, ask what you can do for big pharma, said Kohn F Jennedy, don't ever forget that.

Re:Drug company CEOs are furious now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47256969)

Considering the very nasty side effects from this drug, I'm sure they'll be researching to find a similar drug that has the same positive effects without so many negative ones. Big pharma is perfectly safe. Your fears are unfounded.

Finally (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47256993)

the chill pill will actually be able to be taken.

Does it come (5, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about a month ago | (#47256999)

in the form of a vaccine?

Re:Does it come (1)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | about a month ago | (#47257187)

Or the does the vaccine itself cancel out the effects of autism vaccine? Would it even be worth getting?

paleonelithic? (0)

davethomask (3685523) | about a month ago | (#47257041)

basically.. selfish gene richard dawkins meets the origin of life? I think autism might be caused by a mild brain damage within science. Humbug!

One simple trick, doctors hate him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257155)

Also, I read it as Saruman... is there a cure for dyslexia?

This is crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47257443)

Let me know when Dr. Oz (TM) gives it his approval as a miracle cure (TM).

The guy is a fraud. He has found 16 weight loss miracles so far:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ro... [forbes.com]

You might think that the first 5 miracles would suffice.

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